I was lying there motionless. The blood that splattered after the bullet fractured my skull created a halo around my head as it rested on the white marble floor of my living room. I was lying there, my mouth open and my eyes closed. The gun was lying on the rug. It fell out of my hand as my body hit the ground. It took some time for my family to realize what actually happened? I could see my wife standing motionless, my son afraid and my daughter crying. It was a strange feeling. Their distress, pain and grief was not affecting me at all. I stood their as a spectator. It felt like I was living in a different world. Indeed I was in a different world.
So many times I found my self standing on the cusp of life and death. So many times I thought about killing myself. So many times I tried to escape the mundaneness of life. Not that I did not love my family or vice versa. It was something else. There was this ongoing struggle going on in my mind all the time. How to be perfect? How to make everyone happy? How to be successful? How to earn money? Why did someone hurt me? Why no one understands me? Why do I have to be like this or that? Why did this or that happen to me? Those endless lists of whys and hows made me feel useless, hurt and frustrated. I wanted to escape the questions, the feelings, the expectations, the ennui. I wanted to experience nothingness.
Until today those thoughts about killing myself would linger just for few moments. They would soon be followed by a series of thoughts and imageries which would scare me. If you are thinking that during those moments of contemplation I would think about the pain I would incur my kids, my wife, my parents and my friends. You’re wrong. Perhaps I was too selfish to think about them. What scared me was not my death but what would follow after it? I was scared more about my secrets. They would no longer remain secrets after my death. “A dead man does not have the right to keep secrets. He would no longer be there to protect them.” I was scared what would people think about me after they knew it? What would my family feel? What would my wife say? What would my kids think? Every time after these thoughts I would abandon my plan to kill myself.
Strangely enough, as I lay dead, I felt no such fear inside my heart. Perhaps I had no heart left. I no longer cared what people would think or say about me? I no longer felt the need to keep my secrets safe. It was a realization that could only come to a dead man. All our lives we live in fear. We try to please others. We try not be judged by others. At last it all boils down to nothing. Death makes everything irrelevant.
Why don’t we realize this when we are alive? Why don’t we stop for a while and think what we actually want? Why don’t we consider that it’s okay to make some people unhappy; you cannot please everyone? Why don’t we accept that people would talk no matter what? Why don’t we realize that you cannot guard your secrets forever? Why don’t we express what we feel? Why don’t we realize that failures and struggles are part of life? It’s alright to not to be perfect. You can always take a step backward when you find yourself standing on the cusp of life and death. Life is more than a few goals, achievements, success, money, expectations and secrets. If only I would have realized all this earlier I would have been alive.